Five Best Ways to Leave it All Behind

Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

If you blinked you probably missed it! Of course, it also helps if you live in Canada's Capital and read the Ottawa Citizen. Tucked away on page J04 of Saturday's Travel and Leisure Section "Best-of-the- Year Lists" it was probably very easy to overlook. Sandwiched between "5 best places to have food hurled at you" and "5 best dive bars in T.O." - you might easily have skipped it altogether. However, we were pretty pleased when Laura Robin, the Citizen's Travel Editor, e-mailed us a while ago to ask if we'd contribute to this year's lists. Best of all they actually paid us for it!! So here it is:

5 best ways to leave it all behind
Dust off those crazy ideas of your youth and break out of your regular comfort zone. Risk having your view of the world challenged, learn a new language, expand your horizons and dare to follow your dreams -- head out for a life on the road!

1. Ask yourself what you've really been missing all these years: Are you totally happy at your hum-drum job when all you really want to be doing is climbing mountain peaks? Take the time to identify and assess the priorities in your life -- dig out that old "life list" of things you planned to do before you turned 90.

2. Liberate yourself from all unnecessary responsibilities: Exchange your hectic pace of life in the fast lane and make a complete break. Sell off all your possessions -- except of course for those extra special personal items that should fit quite nicely in a small storage unit back home.

3. Be as independent as possible: Travel in a small camper van equipped with the basic necessities and facilities. Add a laptop and a digital camera -- you'll be amazed at how little "stuff" you need to get along quite nicely.

4. Keep a daily journal: It doesn't take long for the detailed nuances of memory to start to slip. Share the highlights and a few photos weekly with family and friends through travelogue websites such as or or

5. Maintain your sense of humour and keep an open mind: Be flexible enough to absorb all manner of cultures and experiences. Accept that there may be some unexpected adventures along the way -- this is usually when the fun really begins.

-- Gerry and Sharon Channer, who sold their home, farm and business just outside of Ottawa, and who have been travelling throughout Central and South America in an '87 VW camper van since January, 2004. Travel vicariously with them at

İİ The Ottawa Citizen 2006

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Why not make 2007 the year to leave it all behind and follow your dreams!
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